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DaimlerChrysler may build fifth vehicle on 300 platform
Chris Vander DoelenCanWest News Service
Tuesday, January 09, 2007

DETROIT - If consumers like what they see in the sexy Nassau, DaimlerChrysler could build yet another vehicle on its Canadian-assembled 300 platform, making it the fifth vehicle derived from the successful architecture.

The Nassau, a four-door coupe with heavy German influences, was unveiled Monday as the Chrysler Group showed off its new design attitude while testing public appetite for another rear-wheel-drive, Hemi-powered V-8 sedan.

Chrysler already builds the 300 and the Dodge Magnum, Charger and soon a Challenger on the same "LX'' vehicle architecture, which is so far restricted to assembly in its Brampton, Ont., plant.

Like the Imperial concept unveiled by Chrysler last year, the Nassau is "just a concept,'' company officials say, with no firm plans for production. But it could be a means for the company to appeal to a new group of consumers not yet won over by the somewhat blocky bodies built atop the LX platform so far.

Coupes are traditionally expected to have only two doors, not four.
The coupe design, which eliminates the B pillar between the side windows and imparts a racier line to the roof line and rear quarter panel, is intended to give the Nassau "a more compact appearance'' than the other cars in the line, said Alan Barrington, its chief exterior designer.

For the auto show circuit, the Nassau has been fitted out with a 6.1-litre Hemi, a high-performance engine which produces more than 400 horsepower and is available only in limited edition Chrysler and Dodge vehicles.
The concept is both an exercise for Chrysler designers and a baited hook for the company's customers, whose appetites the company wants to whet with what it possible in the future.

In another major concept reveal for the Chrysler Group, the company rolled out a fresh perspective on the SUV called the Trailhawk.
Smaller than the Grand Cherokee which it could replace in a few years, the Trailhawk retains the look of the mainstay of the Jeep lineup. But it's designed on a vehicle architecture already shared between the Toledo-built Liberty and the new Wrangler.

As Chrysler design chief Trevor Creed quipped Monday, the Trailhawk looks a lot like the vehicle he would expect to see produced "if the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler were to marry.''

With nearly all of its manufacturing facilities now flexible, like its Toledo plant, Chrysler now looks for ways to build an ever-increasing number of vehicles from the platforms it already has in production, rather than designing concepts that required new ones, as happened in the past.
The Japanese carmakers have been using the same system for years to squeeze more profits from each platform.

The Trailhawk is an off-roader built on a small truck frame, but all of its glass save the windshield is either retractable or removable, leaving it as open as the beach buggy concepts that keep turning up on Chrysler's show stands in recent years.

For its world debut before Canadian and American consumers who pay attention to the highly influential Detroit auto show, the Trailhawk was fitted with a 3.0-litre diesel engine supplied by Mercedes.
The same engine will be available in 2007 Grand Cherokees that will be available in March. Assembly of the CRD Cherokees begins this month, the company said.

"People who are with us today as customers evolve in their lifestyles,'' Judy Wheeler, vice president of sales for DaimlerChrysler Canada, said of the company's constant search for new concepts. "Where are they going to go?''
If it's in a Nassau-like direction, or toward diesels and smaller SUVs like the Trailhawk, Chrysler will be ready for them, she said.
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Windsor Star


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Chrysler Nassau

Chrysler Nassau performance
0-60 mph 5 seconds
Standing 1/4 Mile
13.5 seconds
Top speed
165 mph
380 miles
Engine 6.1L HEMI
425 hp @ 6200 rpm,
420 ft. lb @ 4800 rpm
RWD, A580 5-speed automatic
Front/SLA, Rear/5-Link Independent
Tire size
P245/40R22 29.7 inch
Wheel size
22 x 8.5

Weight and Dimensions

Weight 4500 lbs (est)
196.1” (4981 mm)
120” (3050 mm)
Front overhang
37” (940mm)
Rear overhang
39” (991 mm)
74.2” (1885 mm)
58.9” (1496 mm)
Track front/rear
Turn circle
38.7 ft (11.8m)
35.5” (755 mm)
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